Investing Talks - Marina Prévost-Mürier

Investing Talks

Name: Marina Prévost-Mürier

Age: 55

Country of residence: Switzerland

Biographical note:

I am president of the Swiss-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (CCISSP) based in Geneva.

I also serve as vice-president of the Association of International Chambers of Commerce in Switzerland (AICC).

Since April 2023, I have also chaired the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Cooperation - Portuguese-speaking Countries, also based in Geneva.

I am a member of the governing bodies of various professional associations and clubs in Switzerland, France, Portugal and Brazil. I am a member of the Association of Swiss Women Lawyers.

These roles allow me to be in constant contact with international businesspeople and investors, which gives me a broad and up-to-date view of the global business scene.

Marina Prévost-Mürier 2
Let's start our conversation by getting to know Marina Prévost-Mürier's history and career a little better

Many of my family members are connected to the business world. I grew up in this environment, where I had my first professional experiences. For my family, studying at university was not an option, but an obligation. I attended private boarding schools from the time I was a teenager, in a multicultural environment. Except for one year, I was always the only student with Portuguese origins.

At that time, 40 years ago, Portugal wasn't a very well-known or popular country. It was a challenging and very enriching experience. I learnt to be independent and responsible, developing skills that have been useful throughout my international professional life.

With a long history of bilateral relations between Portugal and Switzerland and extensive experience in investment consultancy, how did Marina Prévost-Mürier come to be President of the Geneva-based Swiss-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (CCISSP)?

My professional career is not due to a single factor, but rather to the confluence of several elements. These include my Portuguese roots, even though I didn't grow up in Portugal, my law degree, my professional experience in international relations and business, the recognition of my expertise and reputation built up over the years through concrete professional results, a valuable network of contacts and, above all, passion and conviction.

"The sectors of the property market that are of most interest to Swiss investors are the development of tourist resorts, urban redevelopment, investments in high-end residences for the elderly, student residences and housing solutions for Digital Nomads."

What were your main motivations?

The lack of a Chamber of Commerce to promote Portugal in Switzerland. I saw the opportunity to create an organisation that would fill this gap. I led the founding of the CCISSP and continue to lead the organisation with commitment and dedication. Although it has been a huge challenge for the committee, it has also been an extremely rewarding experience. The CCISSP has established itself as a benchmark in the business world and is recognised for its work and impact.

Do you feel there's still a lot to do or are you proud of the progress you've made?

I believe that we can never be satisfied with what has already been done, as there is always room to improve and evolve. However, I am proud to say that we have contributed to several projects that have boosted important investments in Portugal and internationally.

How do you see the future of your field and what are the next steps you want to take in your career?

I currently work internationally, which gives me a global view of markets and opportunities. I intend to continue focusing on innovative and challenging projects.

Marina Prévost-Mürier
What are the main services that the Chamber of Commerce provides to its members?

We support the internationalisation of companies by carrying out market research, identifying partners, providing legal and tax advice, organising business missions, professional exhibitions such as SIIT-SWISS (Real Estate, Investment and Tourism Exhibition), forums, themed lunch debates and networking events.

You recently took on the project of organising the Portugal-Switzerland Real Estate, Investment and Tourism Fair. Would you like to share a little about this challenge?

The next edition of the SIIT-SWISS trade show will be held in Geneva from 14 to 16 November 2024. The CCISSP was a pioneer in Switzerland in organising professional trade shows to promote economic exchanges between Switzerland and Portugal, holding the first one in 2019. In 2024, it will be the fourth trade show organised by the CCISSP.

SIIT-SWISS has established itself as the largest business platform dedicated to the Swiss-Portuguese market, bringing together professionals from the property, tourism, innovation and sustainability sectors. The show features exhibiting companies, a forum with more than 50 conferences, workshops and international networking events. A Private Investor Day is organised in parallel.

SIIT-SWISS is the perfect opportunity for Portuguese entrepreneurs who want to internationalise their business and find new clients and investors in Switzerland.

This year, for the first time, SIIT-SWISS is opening its doors to Portuguese-speaking countries, giving the Swiss public a broader view of the business opportunities in Portuguese-speaking countries.

From your experience, which sectors of the property market are of most interest to Swiss investors looking for business opportunities in Portugal?

Based on my experience, the sectors of the property market that are of most interest to Swiss investors are the development of tourist resorts, urban redevelopment, investments in high-end residences for the elderly (including wellness services and healthcare facilities), student residences and housing solutions for Digital Nomads. We note that the sectors on the rise are real estate and sustainable tourism, tokenisation... and many more.

What makes Portugal an attractive destination for the Swiss, whether for tourism or as a place to live or invest?

The CCISSP notes that Swiss interest in Portugal has grown significantly in recent years. The factors go beyond the sun, the beaches and the natural beauty. The Swiss are pragmatic. Other factors that contribute to Portugal's attractiveness are its geographical proximity, with only a 2.5-hour flight between Portugal and Switzerland.

The fact that Portugal is a safe country, especially in the current geopolitical context. The large Portuguese community in Switzerland, which creates a feeling of trust and familiarity with the country. Swiss companies recognise the skilled work of the Portuguese. The Swiss value the profile of binational workers, who have knowledge of both cultures, customs, requirements and Swiss rigour.

Marina Prévost-Mürier
Can you share a success story or an interesting story of how you helped a Swiss investor overcome a specific challenge when setting up in Portugal?

The Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Portugal (CCISSP), which I chair, has a successful track record in helping Swiss investors set up in Portugal.

HESS, a leading Swiss company in the construction of public transport, turned to CCISSP to help it with its first expansion on Portuguese soil.

Over the course of almost two years, CCISSP has used its expertise and network of contacts to help and support HESS in finding reliable partners to overcome various challenges. This is just one concrete example of the positive impact of CCISSP's work in attracting large foreign investments.

How do you keep up to date with changes in laws and regulations that affect Swiss companies based in Portugal?

I am committed to providing the best possible advice and services.

To keep up to date, I actively seek out information on changes in laws and regulations that could affect companies, follow official government publications, regularly attend conferences, webinars and events and surround myself exclusively with top professionals I trust.

What advice would you give to a Swiss person thinking of moving to Portugal, whether for work, retirement or business?

Moving to another country is an important decision that requires careful planning. CCISSP always recommends the support of specialised and reliable professionals to ensure that the project is successful.

Would you like to leave a message for Invest351's stakeholders in the property investment industry?

I would like to invite all Invest351 stakeholders to attend the SIIT-SWISS 2024 show, which will be held in Geneva from 14 to 16 November.

Switzerland is a country with one of the most competitive economies in the world, offering a perfect environment for investment.

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